019: Insights Into The Connection Between Choices And Grace

Devotional on Romans 6:8-14

There was about 60 of us sitting on couches, or the floor, or on top of each other, eating chips and cheeses, while we discussed questions like, “How far is too far?”  Or, “Ok, but, is it really a sin if I just did this?” Or, “But, I can do this, though, can’t I?”  The teens in my Ottawa youth group were candid about wanting to both connect with Jesus and also stay disconnected.  Dancing the line of Jesus’ grace and our choices created some fun talks. Now that I’m a lead pastor I’m finding that discussions of grace and choice still lead to some interesting discussions…

 

In Romans 6:8-14 it looks to me like Paul is giving us Insights Into The Connection Between Choices And Grace.

 

Here are the three insights I’ve discovered.

 

1. Grace gives you agency
6:8, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” NIV

Just like Jesus died and was raised to life, you also died to sin when you chose to put your faith in Jesus.  You now have the choice to live your life for Jesus.  Just like sin and death have no control over Jesus, you can choose not to give sin and death control over you.  Please don’t continually pursue things you know will hurt your fellowship with God.

Grace has given you the freedom to choose to pursue God.

 

2. Grace empowers you
6:13, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” NIV

When Paul uses the phrase “do not offer” he’s talking about your power of choice.  You are no longer controlled by sin and you’ve been given a new life.

When Paul uses the word “instrument” I immediately think musically.  Just like I play the piano or guitar or the drums I can also consider myself to be some kind of musical instrument that I control.  Rather than making choices that direct your new life back into sin, you can choose to see yourself as an instrument that is used to please a listener, namely Jesus.

You have the power to choose a life of personal engagement with Jesus

 

3. Grace gives you direction
6:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” NIV

While verse 14 is stated matter-of-factly, it’s only a fact if you’re following the path of grace. With your new life you can choose to surrender yourself to desires that will lead you away from Jesus.  That’s a horrible choice, but it’s certainly yours to make.  If you choose to continue to live as though personal engagement with Jesus means nothing to you then this statement will not be true for you.  But, you don’t have to make that choice. If you’re a Believer then the sinful nature no longer controls you.  You can choose not to be led by your sinful desires. You can choose to let grace be your path forward.

Grace allows you to make a break with your past so you can move forward into a growing fellowship with Jesus.

 

Here’s what you can do about these Insights Into The Connection Between Choices And Grace

 

Determine that your choices will please God.  Assess your desires to ensure you’re not giving control to sin.  And, resist the tendency to coast.

Jesus is offering you personal engagement with Him.  You have a choice, and you’ve been empowered to choose.  So, please choose to point your whole life toward the pursuit of personally engaging with Jesus.

 

Join & Share the Conversation

Did you receive some insight from today’s post?  If so, please join the conversation by leaving a comment below telling us what you heard, what it means to you, and what you’ll do about it.  Please share this post with your friends.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “019: Insights Into The Connection Between Choices And Grace

  1. >>The teens in my Ottawa youth group were candid about wanting to both connect with Jesus and also stay disconnected.

    Unreconcilable differences between what Jesus taught, and the enormous burden the church can add to Jesus’ teaching??

    If teenagers would simply learn to ignore the noise from the church, and seriously learn to live and govern their lives by the commandements Jesus left with all of us, all will turn out well.

    He said: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

    So . . . what were His commandments? There was just one:

    “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15

    Once they learn to do that as a matter of not only habit, but automatic reflex, then they will have established a solid foundation upon which to build from there.